Health and Safety
How Often Do Day Staff Require Fire Training?
How often do day staff require fire training? Training/instruction will take place throughout the induction phase and at regular periods thereafter. Every employee should attend at least some training every 12 months and participate in drills and exercises when they happen. You should take fire extinguisher training at least once every three years.
A sudden fire explosion can occur within a second and cause fatal damage. We hardly remain prepared for such a disaster in the workplace, whereas our little preparation beforehand can save our lives along with our colleagues’ lives. That is why fire training should be conducted in every workplace and the employees should actively participate.
Fire safety training ensures the health and safety of the employees. It is advisable to carry out the fire safety training annually to keep the staff in practice. This blog gives insight into the different aspects of fire safety training along with how often a day staff requires fire training.
Table of Content
- What is Fire Safety Training?
- Why Fire Safety Training at Work is Important?
- Who is responsible for Fire Safety at Work?
- What should be covered in a Fire Safety Training for Staff?
- How often should Fire Safety Trainings be carried out?
- How often do Day Staff require Fire Training?
- How often do Night Staff require Fire Safety Training?
- What should you Avoid doing in the Event of a Fire at Work?
What is Fire Safety Training?
A Fire Safety Training course provides lessons about the causes and risks of fire, the preventive measures to eliminate or minimise the causes of fire hazards and the evacuation procedures in the event of a fire.
Why Fire Safety Training at Work is Important?
Before jumping to the answer, let me introduce you to Rick Rescorla, who managed to save the lives of a number of employees during the 9/11 terrorist attack. According to alertmedia, “Rescorla safely led 2,700 Morgan Stanley employees out of the World Trade Center’s South Tower on Sept. 11, 2001.”
But how did Rescorla do so? Rick Rescorla was Morgan Stanley’s security chief who anticipated another attack on the Twin Towers after surviving the 1993 terrorist attack. He used to make Morgan Stanley employees practice orderly and swift emergency evacuation drills every three months.
Fire Safety training holds immense importance as it can protect your staff and develop their risk management ability. Due to the training, your staff would be aware of the fire alarms and know about the quickest and safest exit of the building. This would minimise the life risks of the workers.
It is often a legal requirement for employers to ensure that regular fire drills are being carried out for health and safety reasons. The employers are also legally obligated to have an evacuation plan arranged, which must be shown to the new staff on the day of joining.
Who is responsible for Fire Safety at Work?
The following people would be responsible for fire safety at work.
- The owner
- The employer
- The landlord
- Building manager
- The managing agent or risk assessor
If more than one person is responsible for fire safety, they have to work together to carry out the responsibilities.
You can check out our other blog written on Dynamic Risk Assessment.
What should be covered in a Fire Safety Training for Staff?
It is necessary to train the office staff about the basic fire safety procedures to deal with any unwanted fire emergency. The staff attending the training session would know how to stay calm in case of fire and guide others to evacuate safely.
The fire safety training course should include the following topics:
Types of fire-
The training should provide a basic understanding of the types of fire which are:
1. Class A fire- solid materials such as wood, paper, rubber, plastic and cloth.
2. Class B fire- flammable or combustible liquids, such as petrol, oil and paint.
3. Class C fire- flammable gases, such as propane, butane and methane.
4. Class D fire- flammable metals, such as potassium, aluminium and titanium.
5. Class F fire- cooking oils and fats.
Types of fire extinguishing agents:
The staff should be educated about the fire extinguishing agents and also which agent is suitable for extinguishing a particular type of fire. The different fire extinguishing agents are:
1. Water: Suitable for wood, fabric and paper.
2. Foam: Suitable for flammable liquids, wood and paper.
3. Powder: Suitable for flammable liquids, gas, electrical hazards, oil and chemicals.
4. CO2: Suitable for flammable liquids and electricals.
5. Wet chemical: Suitable for cooking fat and oils.
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How to use a fire extinguisher?
The office staff often do not know how to use a fire extinguisher and when there is an actual fire, they are unable to stop the fire. That is why it is essential to teach them how to use the extinguisher.
When to raise the fire alarm?
The training course should discuss that on discovering a fire, the first thing to do is raise the fire alarm so that everybody on the premises gets aware of the fire in the building.
Recognising the fire hazards?
The training should brief the staff about the potential fire hazards, which are:
- electricity – Loose connections, faulty appliance wiring, ageing & outdated wiring, damaged insulation etc., can lead to short circuits
- waste materials – fire is likely to spread through accumulated waste if not properly disposed
- smoking – discarded cigarette butts or lit matches are one of the major causes of fire
- heating appliances – portable heaters are a threat when placed beside combustible furniture or fittings
- combustible materials- flammable liquids, glues and solvents can be the reason for combustion.
Understanding the fire triangle
Oxygen, fuel and heat-these are the three elements responsible for fire ignition. The staff should be taught about these during the training session so that when they recognise that the three components are present, they can prevent a fire from starting in the first place.
How often should Fire Safety Trainings be carried out?
Ideally, you should carry out the Fire Safety Training after every 12 months. In certain industries like hotels, you might need to perform training at least twice a year due to the nature of the business.
Regular training might be required in certain situations and for certain members in the workplace. In an industry with a high risk of fire, the staff would require more regular training. Also, staff members who handles particular responsibilities in the event of a fire, such as department heads, fire chiefs and carers, would require regular training.
In some cases, additional training should be provided to the staff. Additional training is required in occasions, such as-
- Regular occurrence of fire related accidents
- A significant change in the company’s fire safety policy and evacuation procedure
- Purchase of new equipment or tools that may produce a fire
- The majority of the staff lack the basic fire safety training
Check out our other blog, “How Many Steps are There to a Risk Assessment?”
How often do Day Staff require Fire Training?
A day staff should also be having training at least once a year, as mentioned above. It is not about how many sessions a staff member has per year; rather, it is about how well they understand the procedure.
How often do Night Staff require Fire Safety Training?
It is very important that night staff receive fire training since it would be a matter of high risk if a fire breaks out at night.
Just like a day staff, those working in night shifts should receive fire safety training once a year. However, an employer should assess the safety knowledge of each individual and provide more training if required.
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What should you Avoid doing in the Event of a Fire at Work?
While trying to escape during a fire, you might be in shock and unable to decide what to do. There are plenty of to-dos that you can learn in a safety training course, but you should also remain aware of the things you shouldn’t be doing during a fire breakout.
Have a look at the points below to know what you should avoid doing during a fire.
Returning for your belongings:
Always remember that nothing is more precious than your life, so do not return to take your belongings when there is a fire. Your items are replaceable, but your life is not.
Opening hot doors
You should try to be cautious while opening any door for escape during a fire. Doors that are very hot to the touch means that there is fire on the other side and opening it would only allow the fire to spread.
Jumping from an upstairs window
During a fire you might panic and consider the window as an escape route. However, jumping off a window can take your life before the fire can. Try using a ladder or look for an alternative exit.
The electric circuits are more likely to blow first. As a result, the doors of lifts can open any time or you could end up trapping yourself in the lift. Always use the staircase while trying to escape during a fire.
When you are scared and panicked, you might hide away from the fire for safety, but this can be incredibly dangerous. It would be harder for the rescue service to find you if you kept hiding.
While some employees might not cooperate in undertaking fire safety training, as an employer, it is your responsibility to convince them and ensure that they are aware of the fire safety procedures. Remember, to reduce the risk and consequences of fire hazards at the workplace; there is no alternative to fire safety training.
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